20142020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

I'm a political geographer, interested in the contested character of environmental and energy policy, politics and governance. This is with a particular focus on the local politics of climate change policies and energy generation and consumption – and moves across three interrelated themes:

  1. ‘Just transition’
    The different strands of my research cluster around the concept of ‘just transition’, exploring how environmental and energy policy must be equitable and inclusive. Whilst there is an urgency around discussing and mitigating climate change, it is important to ensure that segments of our community (at local, national and global levels) are not left behind or unsupported. This work explores how policy concepts, such as a Green New Deal, can piece together an energy transition that works for everyone. 

  2. The contentious politics of hydropower
    Current research explores the contested sustainability of hydropower in the Brazilian Amazon. In particular, I am interested in how social movements and civil society actors have contested the Belo Monte and São Luiz do Tapajós dams, exploring how such responses challenge dominant understandings of hydropower as a ‘sustainable’ energy source that has a role in energy transitions.

  3. The localised energy demands of cryptocurrencies – and wider digital technologies
    Whilst the above project explores the contested character of energy production, I am starting new work that focuses on an emergent use of energy in the 21st century. This analyses the role that energy demands associated with the generation of cryptocurrencies play in patterns of uneven development, globalisation and energy justice, as well as necessitating new policy regimes.

In exploring these topics, I have grown particularly interested in the concept of 'contested sustainabilities', in which the ambiguity of contemporary notions of sustainability have given rise to divergent - and, at times, conflicting pathways of sustainable development.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Global Political Economy
  • Cabot Institute Low Carbon Energy Research
  • Cabot Institute Water Research
  • Cabot Institute Environmental Change Research
  • Digital Societies

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Research Output

Contemporary political ecologies of hydropower: Insights from Bolivia and Brazil

Atkins, E. & Hope, J., 17 Sep 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Political Ecology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Contesting the ‘greening’ of hydropower in the Brazilian Amazon

    Atkins, E., 1 Jun 2020, In : Political Geography. 80, 102179.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • Review of "Before the flood: The Itaipu Dam and the visibility of rural Brazil": Duke University Press, 2019, by Jacob Blanc.

    Atkins, E., 18 Aug 2020, In : Water Alternatives.

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review (Academic Journal)

    Supervised Work

    (Re)Defining Sustainability: Belo Monte, São Luiz do Tapajós and Storylines of Resistance

    Author: Atkins, E., 25 Sep 2018

    Supervisor: Flint, A. (Supervisor) & Tucker, K. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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